Thriller in Riga — not in favor of «Zalgiris»
In the match of VTB United League the Latvian VEF quite unexpectedly defeated the Lithuanian «Zalgiris» — 88:79.
The spectacular «dunk» by Robertas Javtokas who opened the score did not lead to confusion of VEF – by the end of the first quarter the home team made a mini-spurt 6-0, and gained «+5» points advantage just before the break. Play of Sandis Valters was very useful, he is the eldest son of famous Latvian basketball player, MVP of European Championship -1981 Valdis Valters, who almost his entire career played just for VEF. Three accurate distant throws — and 31:23 in favor of the home team!
The last episode was a signal for «Zalgiris» which evened the score, 41:41. But before the break VEF again was able to go ahead — 51:44.
During time-out young and expressive Trifunovic managed to cheer up his players — and they showed an impressive jerk in return «15:3». 59:54 in favor of «Zalgiris» after exact throw by Marko Popovic — but that was not the end! Before the end of one of the most exciting matches of the season it still remained more than a quarter.
At the beginning of a decisive period Kaunas basketball players made too much mistakes: during 35 second intervals, three times they allowed the home team to make steals, and soon the young Mindaugas Kuzminskas tried to score twice but failed. As a result — jerk by VEF «12:0» and 71:63 seven and a half minutes before the end. Ty Lawson and Kuzminskas tried to review the intrigue, reducing the backlog to «-4», but failed to do better. Soon Dairis Bertans brought VEF five points (two free throws and three-pointer). And 2.40 before the final siren Curtis Millage decided the fate of the match — 84:70.
The Final score — 88:79 in favor of VEF. «Zalgiris» for the third time was defeated in the current draw of VTB United League, and all — with different coaches (Elias Zuros, Vitoldas Masalskis, Aleksandar Trifunovic). The most valuable players: VEF — Millage (20), Bertans (18) and Valters (13), «Zalgiris» — Lawson (17), Milovan Rakovic (14) and Javtokas (10).